UNOWAS with ECOWAS and AU organized a workshop on Youth empowerment, climate change, peace and security in West Africa and the Sahel
Dakar, Friday 14 October 2022 – As part of the implementation of the Call to Action on Climate Change, Peace and Security adopted at UNOWAS’ Regional Conference held in Dakar in April 2022, the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), in coordination with the African Union (AU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), organized a workshop on Youth Empowerment, Climate Change, Peace and Security in West Africa and the Sahel, in Abidjan, from 11 to 12 October 2022. The workshop was followed by a pre-COP27 partners coordination meeting on 13 October.
The objective of the workshop was to reinforce the importance of youth participation and to promote youth-led initiatives for climate action and conflict prevention.
In a message read to the participants, the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel, Mahamat Saleh ANNADIF, declared that “Youth in West Africa and the Sahel is a major actor. Its involvement and his intervention are not only useful, but necessary, because you are the future.” “UNOWAS will continue to advocate for greater support for your engagement for peace and security in West Africa and the Sahel,” he added.
The youth participants and climate adaptation innovators and activists across the region exchanged experiences from their respective communities and devised recommendations for enhancing their local innovations in terms of sustainability and scale. Among them: the need for knowledge and skills-sharing programs, networking opportunities, online visibility and coordination, and sensitization on the Great Green Wall Initiative (GGWI).
As part of the COP27 partners coordination meeting on 13 October, partners present at the workshop reviewed the recommendations of the youth participants and discussed immediate and long-term priorities. They also agreed on the need for a joint and coordinated action during the COP27 side events to ensure the effective implementation of the Call to Action on Climate Change, Peace and Security.
Among the key partners participating in the workshop were: the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the World Food Programme’s Regional Centre of Excellence against Hunger and Malnutrition (WFP-CERFAM), the Pan-African Agency of the Great Green Wall Initiative (PAA-GGWI), the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre (RCRCCC), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Innovation Cell of the UN’s Department of Political Affairs and Peacebuilding (UNDPPA).